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Women's Life Writing, 1700-1850
Gender, Genre and Authorship
Edited by Daniel Cook and Amy Culley
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
29 Jun 2012
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£53.00
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9780230343078
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This collection of new essays by international scholars discusses British and Irish life writings by women in the period 1700-1850. It argues for the importance of women's life writing, both within women's literary history and as an integral part of the culture and practice of eighteenth-century and Romantic auto/biography. The essays presented here reveal women's innovative and diverse experiments with life writing and highlight the complex relationships between conceptions of femininity, auto/biographical forms, and models of authorship in the period. They advance our understanding of canonical women writers while also recovering neglected authors, genres, and traditions to suggest the various ways in which female lives might be narrated in this period. As a group, the essays re-examine the relationships between public and private life, fact and fiction, spiritual and secular literary forms, the poetics and politics of life writing, personal histories and collective memories, in a literary period that has long been recognized as the origin of auto/biography in its modern form.


Description

This collection of new essays by international scholars discusses British and Irish life writings by women in the period 1700-1850. It argues for the importance of women's life writing, both within women's literary history and as an integral part of the culture and practice of eighteenth-century and Romantic auto/biography. The essays presented here reveal women's innovative and diverse experiments with life writing and highlight the complex relationships between conceptions of femininity, auto/biographical forms, and models of authorship in the period. They advance our understanding of canonical women writers while also recovering neglected authors, genres, and traditions to suggest the various ways in which female lives might be narrated in this period. As a group, the essays re-examine the relationships between public and private life, fact and fiction, spiritual and secular literary forms, the poetics and politics of life writing, personal histories and collective memories, in a literary period that has long been recognized as the origin of auto/biography in its modern form.


Reviews

'This is an ambitious and very attractive volume on a topic very much at the cutting edge of research in the 18th and 19th century, which will be widely reviewed and, I am sure, added to the list of essential reading for women's writing courses and life writing courses.' - Cora Kaplan, Emeritus Professor of English, University of Southampton, UK
 
'These analyses of life writings - secular and spiritual, conservative and rebellious - will be valuable to literary scholars interested in genre creation and historians using autobiographical material.' - Recommended by Choice


Contents

Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: Gender, Genre, and Authorship; D.Cook & A.Culley
The Air of a Romance: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu Constructs her Life; I.Grundy
Barrett Writing Burney: A Life Among the Footnotes; C.Delafield
An Authoress to be Let: Reading Laetitia Pilkington's Memoirs; D.Cook
Sociability and Life-Writing: Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi; F.A.Nussbaum
Journal Letters and Scriblerations: Frances Burney's Life Writing in Paris; P.Sabor
A Model for the British Fair? French Women's Life-Writing in Britain, 1680-1830; G.Dow
Autobiographical Time and the Spiritual 'Lives' of Early Methodist Women; L.Davies
Writing Female Biography: Mary Hays and the Life-Writing of Religious Dissent; F.James
'Prying into the Recesses of History': Women Writers and the Court Memoir; A.Culley
The Memoirs of Harriette Wilson: A Courtesan's Byronic Self-Fashioning; S.M.Setzer
Remembering Wollstonecraft: Feminine Friendship, Female Subjectivity and the 'Invention' of the Feminist Heroine; M.L.Spongberg
Jane Austen and Charlotte Smith: Biography, Autobiography and the Writing of Women's Literary History; J.Batchelor
Select Bibliography Index


Authors

DANIEL COOK teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. After completing a PhD at Cambridge he took up a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship at Bristol. He has published widely on eighteenth-century and Romantic-period literature and biography and has edited such publications as The Lives of Jonathan Swift (Routledge, 2011). AMY CULLEY Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Lincoln, UK. She has published on women's life writing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is editor of volumes 1-4 of Women's Court and Society Memoirs (Pickering & Chatto, 2009) and is guest editor of a special edition of the journal Life Writing (2011).